Research briefings

This page provides access to research briefings produced by the House of Commons Library, the House of Lords Library and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can filter the research briefings by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.

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    • Commons Briefing papers: Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Lords Library Notes: Authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • POSTbriefs: Responsive policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on mini-literature reviews and peer review, typically commissioned by select committees and library research services.
    • POSTnotes: Proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board.
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    Topics: Research material can be filtered by subject using the topic terms. The topics are arranged in a taxonomy (a hierarchical classification) and can be further filtered using sub-topics.

Displaying 261-280 out of 309

The EU's Acquis Communautaire
Published Tuesday, April 26, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN05944
This Note looks at the term "Acquis Communautaire", what it means and how the European Court of Justice has interpreted it.
EU Legislation: Government action on 'gold-plating'
Published Tuesday, April 19, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN05943
The Government aims to change the way in which EU law is transposed into national law in order to avoid 'gold-plating' and to minimise the burden of over-regulation on UK businesses. This Note looks at the main elements of the Government's principles for the implementation of EU law.
EU Accession to the European Convention on Human Rights
Published Wednesday, March 23, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN05914
This Note looks at the background to and issues surrounding EU accession to the European Convention, UK Government views and Parliamentary scrutiny of the draft Council decision on the negotiation of an EU accession agreement.
European Union Bill 106 2010-11: Committee and Report stages
Published Wednesday, March 16, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN05903
This Note looks at amendments adopted in the Committee of the Whole House concerning the European Union Bill 2010-11.
EU bibliographies: working time directives
Published Tuesday, March 15, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN04978
The EC Working Time Directive (93/104/EC of 23 November 1993), was implemented in the UK by the Working Time Regulations 1998, SI No.1833 with effect from 1 October 1998. The Working Time Directive was subject to proposals for further amendment in Europe. The proposals were considered under the codecision procedure. The European Parliament and Council could not reach agreement on the draft directive, and no compromise could be reached in conciliation. The proposal now lapses and the current directive remains in force. This Note brings together documents relevant to legislation and draft directives on the application of Working Time rules.
Parliamentary scrutiny of treaties: up to 2010
Published Tuesday, February 8, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN04693
Before 2010 the UK Parliament had no formal role in the ratification of treaties, which is a matter for the Government under the Royal Prerogative. There were however several ways in which treaties were scrutinised by Parliament before the Government ratified them, for example under the 'Ponsonby Rule'. There have been calls for Parliamentary scrutiny of treaties to be enhanced, including through creating a dedicated treaty scrutiny committee.
The Government's Policy on Europe
Published Monday, February 7, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN05854
This Note looks at the Government's policy on Europe: first, at the election manifestos of the two parties, the Coalition Programme for Government and the Government's response since May 2010 to matters concerning the EU.
EU bibliographies: Food Supplements Directive
Published Tuesday, February 1, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN05101
The EC Food Supplements Directive (2002/46/EC of 10 June 2002) was implemented in England by Food Supplements (England) Regulations 2003 SI 2003/1387, with effect from 1 August 2005. Equivalent Regulations implemented the Directive in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Draft legislation to amend this Directive is being prepared by the European Commission and is expected in 2009. This Note brings together documents relevant to UK legislation on the application of the EU Food Supplements Directive.
The European External Action Service
Published Monday, January 17, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN05558
This Note looks at the European External Action Service established by the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009 and provides links to relevant documentation.
Amending the EU Treaty: the European Stability Mechanism
Published Thursday, December 23, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN05812
On 17 December 2010 the European Council agreed to establish a permanent financial crisis mechanism called the "European Stability Mechanism" (ESM) by means of an amendment to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This Note looks at the likely ratification path in the UK of the proposed amendment to Article 136 TFEU, as set out in the draft European Council decision of 17 December 2010.
The EU Citizens' Initiative
Published Thursday, October 21, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN05723
This Note looks at the Commission proposal for implementing the Citizens' Initiative, the Council's response to it, the British Government's views and UK parliamentary scrutiny.
How much legislation comes from Europe?
Published Wednesday, October 13, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers RP10-62
This paper explores various approaches to the question of how much national law is based on or influenced by EU law.
Parliamentary scrutiny of opt-in decisions to the EU Area of Freedom, Security and Justice
Published Tuesday, July 27, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN05660
The UK has an opt-in arrangement to measures in the "Area of Freedom, Security and Justice", which concern mainly immigration and asylum, border control, judicial cooperation in civil law, policing and criminal law. This Note looks at parliamentary scrutiny of the opt-in arrangement.
EU Legislation
Published Wednesday, March 24, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN05419
This Note considers the different types of EU legislative instruments and their implementation requirements. It also gives figures for EU laws adopted since 1980 and repealed since 1997, as well as an estimate of the proportion of UK secondary legislation made under the ECA to implement EU obligations.
Taking a complaint to the Court of Justice of the European Union
Published Thursday, March 11, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN05397
This Note sets out how individuals who believe they are victims of a government's failure to respect an EU obligation, or that they have been negatively affected by an EU act or a failure to act, can seek judicial and non-judicial remedies.
EU bibliographies: Services Directive
Published Tuesday, March 2, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN05372
This Note brings together documents relevant to the "Services Directive", its scrutiny in the UK and EU, and its implementation in the UK.
Implementing the Lisbon Treaty
Published Monday, February 8, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN05331
This Note looks at how the Lisbon Treaty, which came into force on 1 December 2009, is being implemented. It also considers how the UK might scrutinise the new procedures contained in the Treaty.
EU bibliographies: proposed equal treatment directive
Published Monday, February 1, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN05308
Under its 'Renewed Social Agenda' the European Commission adopted on 2 July 2008 a non-discrimination package including a proposal for a new directive on equal treatment prohibiting discrimination on grounds of age, disability, sexual orientation and religion or belief outside the employment sphere. This Note brings together documents relevant to the proposed "Equal Treatment Directive" and its scrutiny in the UK and EU.
The Lisbon Treaty: choosing a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Published Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | Commons Briefing papers SN05223
This Note looks at the role of the new High Representative for EU foreign affairs and security policy, the method of appointment and possible candidates for the job. It does not consider the new European External Action Service.
The Lisbon Treaty: choosing a President of the European Council
Published Thursday, November 12, 2009 | Commons Briefing papers SN05220
Now that all 27 Member States have ratified the Lisbon Treaty, the Swedish EU Presidency is holding an extraordinary meeting on 19 November 2009 to decide on the post-holders for the three new top jobs created by the Treaty. This Note looks at one of these posts - that of President of the European Council.

Displaying 261-280 out of 309

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The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.


The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology.

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